Pressure, responsibilities, and fear serve as primary motivators for much of middle class America. We feel pressure from direct superiors, or even our colleagues at work. The weight of responsibility can feel crushing at times. A societal environment such as this can cause one to operate out of an unhealthy state of fear and anxiety.

It’s under circumstances such as these that results become more important than anything or anyone else. People reduce to mere pawns in the corporate game. Good news is… you can choose not to operate this way! It’s easy to forget that people are more important than rules, and relationships are more valuable than the quick buck.

Too many business owners lose out financially because they don’t value their hardworking employees over their bottom line. The lie that the businesses should care more about the customer ruins greater opportunity. Treat your employees like gold and your customers and business will turn to gold, too!

As a high school math teacher, I’ve felt pressure from the state and district levels to over burden my students with testing practices beyond reasonable expectation. The pacing requirements were literally unattainable, yet the pressure to test before most students were actually prepared was very real. It is in moments like these that we must remember to ask ourselves an important question, “Am I putting people first?”

Two years ago I knew the answer to that question, and decided to ignore a directive. Instead, I postponed the mandated testing date for the sake of my disheartened kids. We spent a few more days better mastering the material, and consequently got far better results. Putting people first not only yielded greater results, but the students’ self-esteem and respect for me as their teacher was positively impacted. Motivating the kids to study harder became much easier as the weeks transpired. The surprising fact is that no one really cared as much as I believed they would about sticking to that mandated testing schedule!

How many of us are doing wrong by people because we blindly follow the rules at the risk of hurting others? Of course rules are important, and there is judgment that must be employed. However, please allow some wiggle room for the sake of relationship. After all, we’re not robots! We have a sensitive conscience for reason. People must come first!

If you are a teacher or educator, I invite you to email us at morrisseyawards@gmail.com.

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